Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 12/27 - Fiscal Cliff Decision To Be Made This Week, China Opens World's Largest Rail Line

Thursday, December 27, 2012, 11:42 AM


Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds (efarmer.ny)

This report is intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and
vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and
possible global trajectories during the next 15-20 years. As with the
NIC’s previous Global Trends reports, we do not seek to predict the
future—which would be an impossible feat—but instead provide a
framework for thinking about possible futures and their implications.

Obama to Leave Hawaiian Vacation Early to Work on Fiscal Deal (jdargis)

But Tuesday was likely to be his last day of solitude for a while. With a fiscal deal still out of reach, the president can ill afford the public relations problems that would arise from being on vacation while the country heads uncertainly toward a deadline that could have a serious impact on the financial markets and the economy.

Fiscal Cutoff Would Pinch at First, Then Get Steadily Worse (jdargis)

Some hits — like a two percentage point increase in payroll taxes and the end of unemployment benefits for more than two million jobless Americans — would be felt right away. But other effects, like tens of billions in automatic spending cuts, to include both military and other programs, would be spread out between now and the end of the 2013 fiscal year in September. These could quickly be reversed if a compromise is found.

Pay in Oil Fields Is Luring Youths in Montana (jdargis)

Less than a year after proms and homecoming games, teenagers like Mr. Sivertson now wake at 4 a.m. to make the three-hour trek to remote oil rigs. They fish busted machinery out of two-mile-deep hydraulic fracturing wells and repair safety devices that keep the wells from rupturing, often working alongside men old enough to be their fathers. Some live at home; others drive back on weekends to eat their mothers’ food, do loads of laundry and go to high school basketball games, still straddling the blurred border between childhood and adulthood.

China Opens Longest High-Speed Rail Line (jdargis)

Each passenger car taken off the older, slower rail lines makes room for three freight cars because passenger trains have to move so quickly that they force freight trains to stop frequently. But although the high-speed trains have played a big role in allowing sharp increases in freight shipments, the Ministry of Railways has not yet figured out a way to charge large freight shippers, many of them politically influential state-owned enterprises, for part of the cost of the high-speed lines, which haul only passengers.

Christmas Day Storms Blamed for 3 Deaths (jdargis)

Earlier in the day, winds toppled a tree onto a pickup truck in the Houston area, killing the driver, and a 53-year-old north Louisiana man was killed when a tree fell on his house. Icy roads already were blamed for a 21-vehicle pileup in Oklahoma, and the Highway Patrol there says a 28-year-old woman was killed in a crash on a snowy U.S. Highway near Fairview.

In Hopes of Healthier Chickens, Farms Turn to Oregano (jdargis)

Off and on over the last three years or so, his chickens have been eating a specially milled diet laced with oregano oil and a touch of cinnamon. Mr. Sechler swears by the concoction as a way to fight off bacterial diseases that plague meat and poultry producers without resorting to antibiotics, which some experts say can be detrimental to the humans who eat the meat. Products at Bell & Evans, based in this town about 30 miles east of Harrisburg, have long been free of antibiotics, contributing to the company’s financial success as consumers have demanded purer foods.

Farmland In Demand (Suzie G.)

Some of the highest-priced land is in the almond-growing region of San Joaquin Valley's Tulare County, where an acre can fetch $15,000 to $19,000. Just two years ago, the price was in the $13,000-to-$16,000 range, according to surveys by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers' California chapter.

The surge has as much to do with shifts in the global economy as with local agriculture.

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fiscal cliff

doesnt matter if obama comes back if the House doesnt...

U.S. poised to go off 'fiscal cliff': Senator Reid

House Republicans are expected to hold a telephone conference call on the fiscal cliff on Thursday afternoon, a House Republican aide said, adding that a schedule for returning to Washington would be discussed.


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